News of the Day – Immortal Jellyfish

Credits:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Science Foundation

Library of Congress

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Peter Schuchert

  • rss icon
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon

Transcript

NARRATOR: For centuries, man has searched for the fountain of youth. Reversing the aging process would be a move toward immortality.

Well, it appears one creature is already a step ahead of us. It's a jellyfish. Doesn't that news sting?

Scientists have discovered that a hydrozoan named Turritopsis nutricula is biologically immortal. But how is this possible? The key is in its life cycle. Normally, an adult jellyfish produces larvae that settle underwater. The larvae then grow into polyps. The polyps then bud off new jellies that grow into adults, and the cycle begins again.

Apparently, Turritopsis nutricula can reverse this process – changing back to the immature polyp stage after growing into a mature adult. By altering and transforming its cells, this jelly can go from baby to adult and back again. Funny, my wife says I do the same.

Scientists believe this life cycle can repeat indefinitely, potentially making this jellyfish immortal. So this discovery proves that to turn back hands of time, you may actually need tentacles.

And that's your news of the day!